A new high-throughput reverse-drive forage-harvester is set to make its UK debut at next week’s Grassland UK event on 10 May. Made by German company Lacotec, the LHII is claimed to be one of the first units that can match the output of bigger trailed machines and smaller self-propelled units. It also has a corn-cracker and the ability to process maize kernels.

Matthew Noble at Somerset importer Noble Machinery says that the development of the unit has been spurred on by demand from contractors and farmers wanting to spread the cost of costly tractors. But it is the corn-cracker that is its most novel feature.

For some years Lacotec has built its disc-type kernel processor for retro-fitting to self-propelled and trailed harvesters.Unlike conventional units, which use pairs of rollers running at different speeds to crush the grain, this version uses interlocking discs running at identical speeds to do the job.

Grassland UK:

When: Thursday 10 May 2012, 9am to 4pm

Where: Bridge Farm and Bagborough Farm, Pylle, Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA4 6QN

Tickets: £14 on the gate

More details: Ring 01749 822 200 or see http://www.bathandwest.com/ 

The key advantage, says Mr Noble, is that the discs present a much greater surface area to the crop as it passes through. The result is that the corn-cracker is no longer the bottleneck for material running through the forager and power requirement is significantly reduced.

The crop intake on the LHII can be kitted out with standard grass, wholecrop and maize headers from the likes of John Deere, Kemper and Claas.

Key features include a metal detector with adjustable sensitivity, auto-sharpening from the cab and a full auto-lubrication system. The chopping unit is a 10 or 14-knife flywheel (1,300mm diameter) with 10 or 14 blower paddles and a reversible shear-bar. Chop length is 8-36mm in grass and 4-18mm in maize.

Headers go up to 3m in grass and up to 8 rows in maize. Width is 2.6m, power rating is 200-500hp and list price is £60,000.

Don’t miss Grassland UK

Grassland UK will give farmers and contractors their best chance to see working grass machinery this year. Here’s what’s on offer:

  • Working demos: See mowers, mower conditioners, tedders, rakes, forage harvesters, forage wagons, balers, wrappers and clamp equipment from all the major manufacturers, working in 40ha (100 acres) of grass.
  • Muck and slurry: A programme of demonstrations of a variety of makes and models of muckspreader and slurry tanker will take place throughout the day. They are sited at the southern end of the Grassland UK showsite.
  • Trade stands: Whether you’re looking to compare rival models, get advice on the latest round of NVZs or buy a new trailer that meets the latest braking regs, there’s a lot of advice and information to be had in the 120-strong trade stand area.
  • Seminars: Eight seminars organised by the British Grassland Society, EBLEX and DairyCo will cover subjects that range from the economic value of utilising grassland to growing home-grown proteins.
  • Silapactor: Kelvin Cave will be demonstrating its novel Silapactor, which uses heavy steel wheels to increase silage clamp compaction density.
  • Agrii demonstration area: Agrii will be showing the results from its Precision Farming initiative with a display by Natural Resource Management demonstrating the importance of carefully controlled inputs into your grasses.